Thursday, 28 February 2008

How dangerous is the Internet for children?

By David Pogue, 28 February New York Times

Some fears are overplayed, others are underplayed, and above all, the Internet plays a huge part in adolescence today.

Permalink to a useful article about the real danger on the Internet which is not, in David's opinion, sexual predation but bullying.

There is a link (which I hope remains permanent) to a full-length video which has interviews with a number of young people (OK, so they're American but they aren't idiots) about their online experiences.


Toodledo is not exactly the greatest brand name I've ever come across but it is, in my opinion, the best "to do" list system I've ever found.

Now I know that listing isn't everyone's preferred way of doing things, and many of those who do like lists will have already settled for a system but ...

I like Toodledo. It's fast to load, responsive to input, and allows me so many ways to look at taks to be done that I could spend hours just playing with it rather than actually doing the work.

I like the people behind Toodledo. They are equally responsive. Example: I was getting a bit tired of ticking off tasks which I had shown as "repeat daily" on Saturdays and Sundays when I hadn't actually done the work as this showed up in the history of work done. I emailed Toodledo -- and got a response within 24 hours. You now have the option to "repeat on weekdays".

Yes, I do get a kickback but only if you sign up to the Pro version (to be honest I haven't as yet but probably will if only to get the full calendar).

Standard is free and, I am assured, will remain so.

Try Toodledo for yourself and see what you think of it.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Earthquake ahoy!

The dog and the husband were, apprently, quite disturbed. I slept through it.

Statutory Instruments

The drafters have been busy, and so have Sally and Tracey at the Inner Temple Library.

Here's a selection which I think contains those relevant to known readers of this blog in education, training and guidance.

The Assembly Learning Grants (European Institutions) (Wales) Regulations 2008

The Tax Credits Up-rating Regulations 2008

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2008

The UK Borders Act 2007 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008

The Legislative Reform (Health and Safety Executive) Order 2008

The Further Education and Training Act 2007 (Commencement No. 1) (England) Order 2008

The Guardian’s Allowance Up-rating (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

The Education (School Performance Information) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008

The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2008


British Library intellectual property copyright questionnaire

The British Library (BL) is "concerned that the shift from print to digital publishing is undermining the traditional balance at the heart of copyright and could make it harder for researchers to access and use information, and undermine innovation, research and heritage in the UK". The BL is therefore appealing for UK residents to complete a short questionnaire, which is available here.
British Library press release, 25 February 2008

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Older People and Informal Learning: how is adult learning for older people to be supported?

NIACE Conference
Wednesday 9 April 2008

Abbey Community Centre
34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU
Delegate fee: £50 per person (includes lunch, NIACE does not charge VAT)

This conference will give participants the opportunity to discuss issues which the government's recent consultative paper on informal learning raises for older people, and to shape their organisation's response.

John Gibson from DIUS will outline the paper and the process of consultation and NIACE's Associate Director for Older Learners, Stephen McNair will comment on the potential implications for older learners.

The event will be of interest to practitioners, policy makers, providers of learning opportunities, agencies supporting older people and advocates for older people.

Full conference programme from NIACE Conferences

Reserve your place at the website above, tel: 0116 204 2833 or email

In January 2008 the government issued a consultative paper on informal learning. It suggests that government needs to focus its funding for adult learning strategically, to ensure the maximum value for limited resources. It is a major and radical attempt to review how Government supports adult learning, including learning for older people.
The paper suggests that we may be trapped in an outdated model of adult learning, based too much on formal classrooms and publicly funded programmes, and that a more, effective strategy might involve making the service more learner led, with a stronger infrastructure of to organise services, rather than directly subsidising courses themselves.
Individuals and organisations are invited to make their own responses to DIUS, and ministers are holding a number of invitation events to discuss particular issues.

To support the consultation, NIACE is organising this conference specifically to discuss the implications and issues for older learners (broadly people from ages 50-100+). Participants will be given the chance to discuss the opportunities and risks which the paper raises, to identify models of good practice and to help shape their own, and their organisation's response to the consultation.

Monday, 25 February 2008

California Career Zone

from Librarians' Internet Index: New This Week

This site is a "career exploration and planning system designed especially for students. Jobseekers, educators, and counselors will also benefit from the wealth of information on 900 occupations".

Has a California focus, but features useful for anyone include self-assessment tools, overviews of specific jobs in diverse industry sectors, skills and education needed, and links to related sites.

From the California Career Resource Network

Bio Logic

via Word Wise by Dan Santow on 16 February

While “who am I?” may be one of the greatest philosophical (and unanswerable) questions of our lives, we’re still often asked to write up our life stories for new business presentations in about 300 words or less.

More ...

This very useful advice on how to achieve something reasonable reminds me that the "about ADSET" page I've just done for the (partially) rebuilt website needs an "about Hazel" and "about Dawn" piece. 300 words seems about right to tell you who we are and what we do -- not forgetting that the marketing gurus say that I should also say how what we do can benefit you.

Forthcoming measures to protect privacy on the web

via KWTL - Keeping Within The Law by Paul on 13 February

According to EurActiv in a piece titled EU mulls new measures to protect privacy on the web the Commission will issue a document on the implications of RFID development. The Commission will also be publishing the results of a Eurobarometer survey monitoring the attitudes of citizens towards privacy and data management. Legislative procedures will continue with regard to a Commission proposal for reviewing the e-privacy directive.

HE application processes

I would normally put Arts & Letters Daily into "interest" because that's where 99% of its articles should be classified (with sub-categories, of course) but this is "advice to would-be higher education students" and despite the fact that it was written for the US marketplace it contains some useful pointers for those of us in the UK.

Beware a slightly too-slick essay as part of your college entrance application. It may raise a DDI alert: "Daddy did it"...

More ...

Statutory Instruments

-- those "things" with which the government amends legislation -- and expects us all to know about because ignorance is no defence under the law.

Anyway, I came across a few that I thought would interest you in among the changes to, for example, "Planning and Compulsory Purchase" and "Advertising of Foreign Gambling" which are:

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Joint Claims) Amendment Regulations 2008

The Further Education and Training Act 2007 (Commencement No. 1) (Wales) Order 2007
The Education (Pupil Information) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2007
The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (Wales) Regulations 2007
The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2007

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Data Sharing Code of Practice) Order 2008
The Immigration and Police (Passenger, Crew and Service Information) Order 2008

The Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007

via Current Awareness (Inner Temple Library) by Sally

HMRC compensation model falls short

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee has published a report that includes the observation that EDS has paid little of the £26.5m in compensation to HM Revenue and Customs that was tied to it winning further government business. This is over two years since the claim for compensation, deriving from serious problems with the IT systems during the introduction of tax credits, was settled. At this stage it is hard to see EDS finding the momentum, and the PAC says it is highly unlikely that new business will generate the full payment. When the arrangement was made it could be seen as HMRC giving the company some leeway to keep its books in order and continue working with government, but the protectors of public finances are unlikely to be impressed with the way it has worked out. Seeking to create a positive relationship between public and private sectors is one thing; leaving a department short of an eight figure sum is another. It suggests that there is not much scope for the model to be used for any future deals in which government seeks redress from a supplier.

Full story

If only it were men that had kids…

via Liberal Conspiracy by Unity on 8 February

Unity writes that her eye was caught by an item by Yvonne Roberts on Comment is Free (from Guardian Newspapers) because, says Unity, of its poor reasoning. ... New research by Kate Purcell and Peter Elias of the University of Warwick uses data from a longitudinal study of more than 3,000 graduates who gained their first degree in 1995. They found that young women in their first full time job are already earning 11% less than their male peers. Three years later, it’s 15% and then 19% by 2002/2003. That’s one hell of a chasm. Well it is a bit of a gap, but the important question is why?

Read more of Unity's article

The important question for the Liberal Conspiracy writer may be to do with the why of the gap in pay which isn't just a bit -- my important question is why the deuce a responsible reporter didn't actually check out the research which was conducted in 2005 and published in 2006!

New research? Definitely not. ADSET's Members' Update reported this research two years ago. If that's new then I'll eat my best Sunday hat!

Security is an ecosystem, not a product

via TechRepublic Blogs by Chad Perrin on 4 February

People talk about security as though it's something you can buy and sell.

Full article

Really interesting. Security is a state of mind, it's about psychology not things.

Buy all the window locks you want but if people don't use them ...
the burglar will walk in

Put a firewall on your business network, define sites that must not be used in a business context, do whatever you consider necessary but if your staff circumvent these procedures then, to put it in the vernacular, "you're stuffed".
the burglar / hacker / botnet will get in

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Directgov on the way to DWP -- Updated

Responsibility for the government's central website for public services is to transfer to the Department of Work and Pensions. A spokesperson for the Central Office of Information, which is currently responsible for Directgov, has confirmed to GC News that the transfer will take place in April.
Source: Kable's Government Computing

And the first thing I would recommend to the DWP is to sort out the landing page. A more messy, unwelcoming site I have yet to see.

UPDATE: Actually that very negative comment was an immediate, emotional reaction and I probably have seen worse. However, I don't have to use the worse ones.

Another 10 miscellaneous items of interest (to me)

Education Jargon Generator
via TipLine - Gates' Computer Tips by Jim Gates on 23 January
This is too much fun. How 'bout some of these:
- extend strategic niches
- empower subjective manipulatives
- exploit developmentally appropriate higher-order thinking
- deploy inquiry-centered synergies
More ...
Great fun --choose a verb, an adjective and a noun and the number of ridiculous phrases you can generate is vast.
Very useful -- include lots of meaningless jargon into your reports and proposals.

Learn to be insulting -- thanks to William Shakespeare
Another set of lists but this one provides you with "get hence thou baboon-faced scurvy nave" and similar insults.
More ...

It's official: happiness resumes at 50
via Society by Stephen Moss 30 January
A vast study has concluded that happiness is U-shaped: it peaks when we are 20 and 70, but slumps in the middle.
More ...

Painting the World: how a hunger for tea and tobacco created global trade
Michael Dirda's review of Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World by Timothy Brook
This is not only, or even principally, about paintings but about how the fur hats, old maps, dishes of fruit, silver coins used as props in Dutch paintings arrived in Europe from across the world.
More ...

Kids learn to flatter around 4
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 28 January
A joint Canadian-Chinese study indicates that children learn to tell social lies around age four.
More ...

Why some co-workers will never admit to mistakes
via TechRepublic Blogs by Toni Bowers on 29 January
I encountered two words the other day that I'd never heard before: unaccountability and sorrylessness. They appeared in an article in the Wall Street Journal, which was about people in the workplace who won't admit to making a mistake. They are my new favorite words.
More ...

Communication advances for the dogs
via TechRepublic Blogs by Sonja Thompson on 25 January
Recent tech news headlines show that scientists are using computer software to analyze dog barks and determine canine emotions.
More ...

Learning to lie
From the NewYork magazine via Arts & Letters Daily
Children lie early, and often, for many reasons: to avoid punishment, bond with friends, gain a sense of control. And there's another reason... .
More ...
Why do children lie? Because their parents do!

Socrates in the 21st century
"The more I read about Socrates, the less I wonder that they poisoned him." Lord Macauley
Arts & Letters Daily 18 February
Socrates only got a passing mention in my education so I went to read this -- and couldn't agree more. Nasty piece of work.

The Musical Mystery
a review by Colin McGinn of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
Why is the love song the most popular form of music in the world? Because love songs are about the very thing the music instinct for ...
More ...

Friday, 22 February 2008

Antivirus companies aim to set standards for testing

A group of antivirus manufacturers, software testers and allied entities have announced the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, which hopes to provide consistent information about the effectiveness of antivirus products.

More ...

More standards to add to the ever-growing list!

Parliamentary Questions -- and written answers

I picked up the following from Tony Collins's IT Projects blog but when I went to look and see whether there was any more info I couldn't find the original post! Such is life on the Internet.
When advisers to ministers write replies to Parliamentary Questions they have no legal duty to be candid. Within reason they can say what they like. So for them answering written Parliamentary Questions may be no more challenging than playing tennis with the net down.

The trouble with this is that the phrase "advisers to ministers" makes it seem as though these people are all civil servants at the highest, or near-highest, level who are aware of the political nuances of a given situation. My own experience of dealing with the files containing Parliamentary Questions, apart from having to drop everything you're doing to provide an answer yesterday, is that from my junior position I was never aware as to why someone wanted to know! It's only when the answer blows up in the minister's face, as happens from time-to-time, that you become aware that you have been involved in something big. And that then leads, for some people, to them deciding that, whilst the truth may have been told that the whole truth hasn't been revealed -- and a leak to a journalist might be a "good idea".

And no, before you ask, I was never involved in anything remotely like that!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep?

An article by Joseph B Walther, Brandon Van Der Heide, Sang-Yeon Kim and Stephanie Tom Tong (Michigan State University) and David Westerman (West Virginia University)

This research explores how cues deposited by social partners onto one’s online networking profile affect observers’ impressions of the profile owner. An experiment tested the relationships between both
(a) what one’s associates say about a person on a social network site via "wall postings," where friends leave public messages, and
(b) the physical attractiveness of one’s associates reflected in the photos that accompany their wall postings on the attractiveness and credibility observers attribute to the target profile owner.
Results indicated that profile owners’ friends’ attractiveness affected their own in an assimilative pattern. Favorable or unfavorable statements about the targets interacted with target gender: Negatively valenced messages about certain moral behaviors increased male profile owners’ perceived physical attractiveness, although they caused females to be viewed as less attractive.

Human Communication Research Volume 34 Issue 1 (January 2008)

OK, so the more attractive my "friends" are the more attractive I will seem. Scatty psychology which I would guess is probably a more accurate statement about younger, more socially-active people than it is about the more business-oriented networks.

"Research Online" is even better

Free access to labour market information has been improved following an update to Research Online. Unfortunately for the rest of the UK this is Scotland where a revision of the site's appearance and functionality has delivered an improved search function, email updates on the latest reports and a reading list function. This allows users to keep a list of documents they're interested in which can be saved, printed or emailed.

Recent highlights include:
The impact of early cognitive and non-cognitive skills on later outcomes
Unemployment: stage or stigma? Being unemployed during an economic boom
Sustainable employment: supporting people to stay in work and advance - report by the Comptroller and Auditor General

Futureskills to join Scottish Government
All five staff from Futureskills Scotland are moving from Scottish Enterprise to the Scottish Government. The move was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney MSP, who acknowledged the team's role in influencing and monitoring labour market strategy and policy. For example, Futureskills Scotland's research informed the Scottish Government's new skills strategy, 'Skills for Scotland' (click on this link to find out more).
The move is expected by 1 April 2008.
Read more »

Men stressed out over work-life balance

from The People Bulletin

A study from business psycologists Robertson Cooper has revealed that men worry more about work-life balance than women, contrary to previous research in the area.


I'm not at all sure that the study does show more concern about work-life balance. I found it difficult to work out what it is that men were saying about stress in the workplace -- except that there's too much of it!

Mind publications catalogue 2008

Just a brief reminder for those of you working on the personal adviser front that Mind has released its 2008 catalogue and that, besides the good quantity discounts that Mind always gives there is an
extra 10% discount on orders worth over £200
and you have until 30 April to use the voucher in the catalogue. If you haven't had yours yet then please email Helen Finch who will be happy to put one in the post to you. (Don't forget to tell her your name and address!)

Other news from Mind's Information Team
Mind Annual Conference 2008: In the red - poverty, debt and mental health
This year's conference will take place on 16 & 17 June at Brunel University. For information, and to sign up for news as plans develop, please click here

Via Mind's e-newsletter 21 February

Computer Buyer newsletter Issue 203

OK, I realise that the above is not the catchy title that bloggers are told must be used before people are going to read what you have written.

Well, I'm in a "sod that for a game" mood this morning having spent a great couple of days in London with my grand-daughters and come back to find that I'm now playing "double catchup". I don't need to do do more than provide you with links to the items I think will be interesting/useful to you and leave it at that (I hope).

= = = = = = = = = =
First, to be fair, I bring you an advert
Identity fraud costs the UK economy £1.7 billion each year. 1 in 5 believe they have been a victim of identity crime. Are you safe online? Don't become a victim. Download your FREE Kaspersky® Internet Security 60-Day Trial & Safe Online Guide. Visit today.
= = = = = = = = = =

Facebook to delete accounts Social networking site promises to delete disused account data - but only if you ask nicely

VAT reforms to hike download prices Firms selling software, games and music will no longer be able to exploit low tax rates

Tiscali expels file sharers after BPI tip off ISP cancelled accounts of file-sharing subscribers - but rips up agreement after row over costs

Code of conduct promises safer surfing for kids Content providers agree new guidelines for unsuitable material

Toshiba confirms HD DVD is dead "If we had continued, that would have created problems for consumers, and we simply had no chance to win."

Secret printer codes may break EU law European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security warns that anti-counterfeiting codes may violate data privacy laws

Monday, 18 February 2008

Spammers' bot cracks Microsoft's CAPTCHA

A security researcher said spammers are using a bot to sidestep barriers that Microsoft has erected to keep scammers from creating massive numbers of accounts on its Live Mail service.
Full story from Compter World here.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Jobseekers get emotional

via The People Bulletin

Being rejected from a job interview is as bad as being rejected by a romantic partner according to a study from the University of Gloucestershire, with one interviewee comparing it to a "divorce situation where one party thinks they're useless."


Critical flaws found in MySpace, Facebook ActiveX controls

via Computer World

Flawed ActiveX controls used to upload photos on popular social networking sites Facebook and MySpace can be used by hackers to snatch control of Windows PCs, according to security researchers.

More ... (starts with an ad which you can skip)

Copyright, IPR and the Institutional Repository

The Repository Support Project recently ran a one-day Professional Briefing at Queen’s University Belfast in which Stephanie Taylor of UKOLN gave a presentation titled Copyright, IPR and the Institutional Repository.
Slides from this presentation are now available.

Source: UKOLN

Once again I've failed -- but learned a lesson. For a posting like this where I'm essentially taking someone else's information (with due acknowledgement of course) and relaying it to you then it takes longer to put the information into draft and go back to it "when I have time" than it does to put it on the blog immediately. So, from now on that's what will happen. It will probably mean that some items get left a bit longer and will get out of chronological order. Do you care? Do I care? Actually I don't think it matters much as long as I bring you the information regularly.

Calling all students

via Motley Fool (the money advice website)

Opinionpanel Research has teamed up with Amazon to offer free gift certificates in return for the completion of short web-surveys. You get £10 in total when you register, and a further £1 to £2 per survey thereafter. Once you've reached £25, you receive your Amazon gift certificates by email. In order to qualify, you must have a valid email address issued by your university (i.e. ending in The certificates continue to roll-in after you've graduated, as you are automatically transferred to the Graduate Panel when you finish your studies.

Not quite "money for old rope" but certainly worth doing. I'm not sure about "short" as an adjective -- in classification terms this would need to be quantified. A short course is: "anything less than an academic year" to an academic, "no more than a day" to a business manager. So, what's "a short web-survey"? Less than 5 minutes? Less than 10 minutes?
I don't know the answer!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Credo Reference adds new titles

The regular Content Update from Credo Reference says that: "A number of titles have been added to Credo Reference in the past month. Below are the latest additions."

Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained, Chambers Harrap
Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia, Greenwood,
Dictionary of Existentialism, Greenwood
Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, Greenwood

A complete list of available titles is here.

I hope that you have now sorted out whether your local public library provides its members with access to this useful resource.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

But What About Corporate Authors?

NISO Institutional Identifier Project Underway
by Barbara Quint

Thomson Scientific has joined an effort with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) to build an open standard for identifying institutions. The initial NISO effort will focus on academic and research institutions, the kind often referred to in author affiliation or corporate author fields. NISO is a nonprofit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) that creates technical standards for managing information.
More ...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Government Surveys -- changes in access

17 January saw the
ESDS Government meeting on changes in access to the government surveys
(Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey user meeting)

The slides from the above meeting are now available on the event web page (requires PowerPoint)

Quite a lot of information on migration statistics -- and informal discussions about confidentiality and why the data got lost. Given the strict rules at ONS I don't think that there's much chance of data creeping out of there!

Career Planning from Learning Matters (Updated)

I am a fan of Learning Matters' online self-help learning materials for business-related subjects. This is "bite-sized" learning taken to the extreme. Most of the topics are covered by a four- or five-page checklist with FAQs and an action plan, cost £2 (worth paying if you only want one topic NOW because you need to answer that question NOW) and take about 20 minutes to work through.

OK, why am I telling you this? Because I recently came across the range of career planning materials that Learning Matters produces -- found it as a result of a friend asking for help, as they do!


My friend doesn't need a full career planning course just a nudge in the right direction so we sat down and found three of the subjects which would be perfect for her.

You may find that your clients will benefit similarly.

Full list as at 06/02/2008
Apply for an Internal Vacancy
Are You in the Right Job?
Assessing Your Entrepreneurial Profile: Do You Have What It Takes?
Choosing the Right First Job
Consider Taking a Career Break
Cope with a Nightmare Boss
Create a Career Plan
Creating and Balancing the Portfolio Career
Developing an International Career
Downshifting: Working Less and Enjoying It More
Do You Have the Skills to Be Your Own Boss?
Enter an Entirely New Field
Finding and Working with Search Organisations
Finding a New Challenge
Finding Your Calling and Living Your Passion: The Dream Job
Get the Pay Rise You Deserve
Getting Paid What You’re Worth: How to Assess Your Value in the Marketplace
Getting Promoted: Forget Your Boss, Serve Your Customers
Getting the Most from Your Professional Career Adviser (I like it - a professional career adviser I ain't but it looks as though this will allow clients to work out if they're paying the right person for the right service!)
Go Freelance
Identifying Your Marketable Skills
Know When it’s Time to Move On
Leaving with Style: How to Exit with Dignity
Looking for Work When You Go Freelance
Make the Decision to Take a Risky Career Move
Make Yourself PromotableManage Dual-Career Dilemmas
Managing a Portfolio Career
Managing Upwards: Making Your Boss Your Strongest Ally
Move Sideways: Reap the Benefits of a Lateral Move
Preparing for Retirement with Dignity and Grace
Reinvent Yourself
Researching the Job Market
Return to Work after a Career Break
Revitalise Your CV
Staying Marketable: Identifying Your Transferable Skills
Survive Redundancy
Test the Waters: Learn How to Network
Understand Your Values
Using the Web As a Career Resource (I might even buy this one for myself just so I work out the best way to help you use the Internet for your clients)
(UPDATE: but not when it syas it's about writing CVs in Word and using Netscape as browser)
Virtual Jobs: Staying Connected and Visible While Teleworking
Weigh Up the Pros and Cons of Looking for a New Job
Winning CVs: Creating a Marketing Tool that Gets You the Interview
Working in Interim Management

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Credo Reference content update January 2008

I can't imagine a situation when any of my known readers of this blog would want to access, for example, the Dictionary of Italian Literature. However, since I haven't done a survey of your private reading/study habits I really can't say for sure. I also don't know whether your local library service subscribes to Credo Reference but you can check here.

A number of titles have been added to Credo Reference in the past month.
Below are the latest additions.

A complete list of available titles is here.

Latest Additions
Dictionary of Italian Literature, Greenwood in Literature
Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature, Greenwood in Literature
Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Greenwood in Social Sciences

Friday, 1 February 2008

Goobledegook? No, it's the law

I've tried hard to ensure that the original formatting has been preserved in what follows but ensuring that it is still understandable!

By contrast with this the Statutory Instruments relating to the HMRC are a doddle!

Statutory Instruments 2007 No. 3436
The Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007
Made 6th December 2007
Laid before Parliament 13th December 2007
Coming into force 10th January 2008

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 537A(4)(c) of the Education Act 1996(1) and sections 99(1) and (4)(c) and 104(2) of the Childcare Act 2006(2):

Citation, commencement and application
1.— (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007, and come into force on 10th January 2008.
(2) These Regulations apply only in relation to England. Amendment of the Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) Regulations 2007
2.— (1) The Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) Regulations 2007(3) are amended as follows.
(2) After regulation 14, insert—"15. Persons having access to a database established and operated by the Secretary of State under section 12 of the Children Act 2004(4) are prescribed for the purposes of section 537A(4)(c) of the 1996 Act and section 99(4)(c) of the 2006 Act.".
(3) In Part 2 of the Schedule, after paragraph 11 insert—“11A.—(1) Where the person provides funded nursery education to the child in more than 38 weeks in the funding period, the number of hours of funded nursery education which the child receives from that person during the period starting with 1st January and ending with 31st March in the calendar year in which the information is requested. (2) In this paragraph “the funding period” means the period, being no longer than 12 months, of arrangements between the person providing funded nursery education and a local education authority in England under which the person provides such nursery education.”.

Beverley Hughes Minister of State Department for Children, Schools and Families 6th December 2007

Explanatory Note (This note is not part of the Regulations)
These Regulations amend the Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/712) (‘the principal Regulations’). Regulation 2(2) prescribes a further category of persons to whom the Secretary of State may provide any individual child information or individual pupil information. This will ensure that such information, after it has been disclosed for inclusion in a database established and operated by the Secretary of State under section 12 of the Children Act 2004, may be viewed by users of such a database. Regulation 2(3) provides for an additional item of prescribed information to be provided by a provider of funded nursery education under regulation 7 of, and Part 2 of the Schedule to, the principal Regulations. An impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no impact on the private or voluntary sectors is foreseen. (1) 1996 c. 56. Section 537A was inserted by the Education Act 1997 (c. 44), section 20, and substituted by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (c. 31), Schedule 30, paragraph 153. By virtue of the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672) the powers conferred by this section are exercisable by the Secretary of State in relation to England. See section 579(1) for the definitions of “prescribed” and “regulations”.
Back [1] (2) 2006 c. 21. Section 99 of the Childcare Act 2006 is modified by section 100(2) and (3) of that Act until section 7 of the Act comes into force. See section 99(9) for the definitions of “prescribed” and “regulations”.
Back [2] (3) S.I. 2007/712, amended by S.I. 2007/3224.
Back [3] (4) 2004 c. 31. Section 12 was amended by paragraph 43 of Schedule 2 to the Childcare Act 2006.
Back [4]

Was that helpful? No? Am I surprised? Not a bit of it -- trouble is that if one of these Statutory Instruments slips past without comment from the media -- which doesn't happen often -- then the law may have changed without you realising it.

From folksonomies to ontologies: employing wisdom of the crowds to serve learning purposes

by Mathias Lux and Gisela Dosinger in International Journal of Knowledge and Learning Volume 3 Number 4/5
Is Web 2.0 just hype or just a buzzword, which might disappear in the near future? One way to find answers to these questions is to investigate the actual benefit of the Web 2.0 for real use cases. Within this contribution the authors study a very special aspect of the Web 2.0 – the folksonomy – and its use within self-directed learning. Guided by conceptual principles of emergent computing they point out methods which might be able to let semantics emerge from folksonomies and discuss the effect of the results in self-directed learning. (Original abstract)

Social network analysis of self-taught e-learning communities

an article by Andrew Laghos and Panayiotis Zaphiris in International Journal of Knowledge and Learning Volume 3 Number 4/5
The technique of Social Network Analysis (SNA) has been for years used extensively in the fields of sociology and communication research. Recently however, SNA has been extended to study online communication and virtual communities. In this paper, we have used SNA to analyse the social networks that have formed around a self-taught e-learning community. In traditional face-to-face learning environments, the students are part of a classroom where there is a teacher who presents the lectures and supervises the communication interactions. But what happens when the learning takes place online and there is no teacher to mentor the process? We have carried out SNA on such a community with the aim of discovering what roles, groups and characteristics the students take on when there is no teacher present and discuss the implications of our results. (Original abstract)

The Political Compass™ -- nothing to do with Golden Compasses!

Are you a "leftie" or a "right-winger"?
The Political Compass website works out not only where you sit as per the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789 (getting a bit old-hat and rigid by now) but also how an "up and down" axis best fits your view of the world. This provides a unique position for you and you can see which political figures are nearest to your own position.

As the intro to the website says:
On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It's not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can't explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as "right-wingers", yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.
So are you ready to take the test? Remember that there's no right, wrong or ideal response. It's simply a measure of attitudes and inevitable human contradictions to provide a more integrated definition of where people and parties are really at.

PS Blogger's spell-checker is still not working!